Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Social > Jet Blast
Reload this Page >

Has your MP ever knocked at your door?

Jet Blast Topics that don't fit the other forums. Rules of Engagement apply.

Has your MP ever knocked at your door?

Old 8th Jul 2018, 13:40
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: England
Posts: 31
Has your MP ever knocked at your door?

MP's on radio and TV interviews claim to know how their constituents feel about issues as they go around knocking on their doors. In all of my time as an adult, over 50 years, no MP has ever knocked on my door. I can't even recall ever being canvassed by party members on my doorstep.

Have you ever spoken to your MP on your doorstep? Or do they wait until they know you are not in, just like in the days of parcel delivery?
Grayfly is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 13:44
  #2 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,744
One year had an activist knock on my door, asked me if I was going to vote. When I said no and asked my why, told him I had already voted.

Got a blank look until the penny dropped.
​​​
Pontius Navigator is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 13:52
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 5909N 00238W (IATA: SOY, ICAO: EGER)
Age: 77
Posts: 811
Our MP is Alistair Carmichael and he visits our island at least once a year to hold a "surgery". On election years he visits most households on the island - and it's not a doorstep visit. He will come in if invited and have a cuppa & chat. His wife is one of the veterinary surgeons on mainland Orkney.
I've been visited by and have spoken to our MP far more than I have to any of the Orkney Island councillors who represent the Northern Isles.
ricardian is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 13:54
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: West Wiltshire, UK
Age: 68
Posts: 390
I've never, ever, had an MP knock on my door, neither have we ever had anyone canvassing knock on our door either. I think that they only bother to go around canvassing in marginal seats, and just save their time and effort if they're in a safe seat. Where we are, you could stick up a cardboard cut out with a conservative rosette and it would get elected...
VP959 is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 14:15
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Scotland
Posts: 144
Yes, his precise words when I opened the door were

"Thank God, a friendly face can I use your loo".
cdtaylor_nats is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 14:48
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Cambridge, England, EU
Posts: 3,431
Originally Posted by Grayfly View Post
MP's on radio and TV interviews claim to know how their constituents feel about issues as they go around knocking on their doors. In all of my time as an adult, over 50 years, no MP has ever knocked on my door. I can't even recall ever being canvassed by party members on my doorstep.
You may just have been unlucky - an MP has maybe 40,000 doors to knock on and most people won't see them most years because of the laws of physics and mathematics.

Or you could have done something to get yourself off the list. There are all sorts of ways you can achieve this, including but probably not limited to:

(1) Not be at home. When you go knocking on doors you soon learn that most people are never at home.
(2) Never vote. If you don't vote why would anyone waste their time talking to you?
(3) Once have said something to a canvasser which caused them to put the "avoid" flag by your name. (This won't be the reason in your case if you've never seen a canvasser.)
(4) Have a dog loose in the garden. It's hardly rare to lose a party worker for a campaign to a dog attack, so the simplest thing is to always avoid all dogs.
(5) Not register to vote. If you're not on the register they won't even know you exist.
(6) Display window posters or stakeboards for the MP's opposition. Why would he waste time talking to you? - what he really hopes is that you'll forget to vote, so he's hardly going to knock on your door and remind you that there's an election on.

But the way that most people avoid ever getting canvassed is

(7) Choose to live in a safe seat. Why would the MP waste time canvassing you? - he's going to win anyway. Why would the opposition waste time canvassing you? - they're going to lose anyway. So in both cases they're better off spending their time more usefully in the nearest marginal constituency.

Originally Posted by Grayfly View Post
Have you ever spoken to your MP on your doorstep? Or do they wait until they know you are not in, just like in the days of parcel delivery?
I have spoken to the last four of my MPs. Two of them in my home (amongst other places), the other two I've met out and about. I have certainly spoken to one of them on doorsteps, but not my doorstep - we went canvassing together.

Re "waiting until we know they're not in", actually we do the opposite, so as to minimise wasted walking. So there are some bits of the city where we know that people are least likely to be at home and/or answer doors at certain times of the day or week, so we go somewhere else those times. (Eg, Romsey is a dead loss on Sunday mornings as they're all in bed. And a fair number of them aren't in their own beds, so even if they did answer the door you wouldn't find the person you wanted to talk to.)
Gertrude the Wombat is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:01
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: West Wiltshire, UK
Age: 68
Posts: 390
Originally Posted by Gertrude the Wombat View Post
But the way that most people avoid ever getting canvassed is

(7) Choose to live in a safe seat. Why would the MP waste time canvassing you? - he's going to win anyway. Why would the opposition waste time canvassing you? - they're going to lose anyway. So in both cases they're better off spending their time more usefully in the nearest marginal constituency.
I can wholly understand the practical logic behind this, but it does pretty much guarantee the status quo. If the majority of the electorate in a constituency never get to hear or see anyone standing to represent them, then they aren't, in my view, going to be in a position to make a fair assessment as to who to vote for.

In effect, the policy of only canvassing in marginal seats ensures that safe seats remain safe seats, in other words it's a political self-licking lollipop, and nothing will ever change.

I'd personally like to see all candidates that are standing for election in any constituency be forced to spend an allotted amount of time canvassing in their own areas and be forbidden from canvassing outside their own constituencies altogether. A pipe dream perhaps, and one that would probably annoy the living daylights out of many candidates, but I feel that as a constituent I have a right to see all the candidates, hear what they have to say, and ask them questions about their views, without having to go to the trouble of finding them on social media or whatever.
VP959 is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:25
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Cambridge, England, EU
Posts: 3,431
Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
In effect, the policy of only canvassing in marginal seats ensures that safe seats remain safe seats, in other words it's a political self-licking lollipop, and nothing will ever change.
Change can happen, but rarely and slowly. What you need is for one party locally to believe that they will have spare campaigning effort even after being certain of winning all their target marginals. Then you can ambush a neighbouring "safe" seat, which can be particularly effective if the incumbents aren't expecting it and don't have time to gear up a response.

And it works. Once Upon A Time we reckoned we had some spare effort, and we decided to go after the ward next door to mine, which had been safe Labour forever. The numbers were that Labour usually won the seat by a couple of hundred votes on a turnout of 19%, with us doing absolutely nothing in the ward, not even any leaflets. We reckoned that if we could get another one person in ten to come out and vote for us, getting the turnout up to the 29% that is more usual for local elections, we'd win. And we did - we took all four seats in four successive years.

The other opportunity is of course by-elections. Any non-trivial party can if they choose come up with the activists and money to run a full campaign in a by-election in a safe seat, and sometimes the result is that the seat becomes less safe. Which gives rise to a problem - you can run and sometimes win a by-election with an imported rent-a-mob, but to hold the seat in the next general election you've got to get a local party machine up and running, starting from nothing, and usually with not very long to do so. It's not a surprise that seats won in by-elections can't always be held in the following general election when the rent-a-mob and outside cash aren't available.
Gertrude the Wombat is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:26
  #9 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: England
Posts: 31
OK, I'm probably number 7 and living in a safe seat. (That wasn't the reason I chose where to live.)

I can understand all those reasons when there is an election in progress. If one watches question time etc, the MP's are suggesting they are knocking on doors regularly and therefore understand the concerns on current issues.

Sounds like it's just another sound byte. On a positive note I have written to my MP's in the past ( emailed recently) and actually found the system extremely good. I always received a reply. I've even had my issues raised with relevant ministers where appropriate. One of my grievances even contributed towards a change in the legal progress. I always tell my friends who complain about their lack of power to change things to stop moaning and get their MP involved. The system is there, use it.
Grayfly is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:33
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Cambridge, England, EU
Posts: 3,431
Originally Posted by Grayfly View Post
I always tell my friends who complain about their lack of power to change things to stop moaning and get their MP involved. The system is there, use it.
Tick. VG.

I did a couple of weeks' voluntary work helping with my MP's casework administration. I can't talk about individual constituents' issues, but I can confirm that sometimes such representations can make a difference.
Gertrude the Wombat is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:37
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Richard Burtonville, South Wales.
Posts: 1,960
Even the JWs don't walk the 80 yards it takes to knock my door! Plus, in this neck of the woods, you could dig Thatcher up, stick a red rosette on the corpse and she'd win. They hold us in contempt. (Maybe just me?)

CG
charliegolf is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:44
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: West Wiltshire, UK
Age: 68
Posts: 390
I've twice had dealings with my current MP, and despite not agreeing with him about one particular policy I have to say he has always responded quickly and positively to any question. The one time he didn't honour a promise, was when I mentioned that a local new housing development were cutting corners and not fitting insulation in some of the houses they were building, because they weren't subject to independent building inspections (the privatisation of building inspection has meant that developers only hire inspection companies that never fail their builds). He argued with me that competition in the building inspection market was a good thing. I challenged him to walk around a newly finished development with me one cold evening and see the results of the missing insulation on my thermal imaging camera. To be fair to him he did take the time to spend an hour wandering around looking at crap houses, agree with me (verbally) that there seemed to be problems, but that was as far as it went - AFAIK he did nothing further and I've seen no sign of the poor workmanship being put right. My guess is that he just didn't want to tackle big business - perhaps if we'd done this exercise after the Grenfell Tower fire, now that we all know the shortcuts and failings in the building inspection system, he might have been a bit more proactive.
VP959 is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:44
  #13 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,744
The incident I related was in one of the safest of safe seat, that of the father of the house.
Pontius Navigator is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:45
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: No longer welcome status
Posts: 249
Electoral system is such that the majority of seats are safe and will always be.

Prefer the system changed such that an MP is elected only with 50.001% of the vote and anybody who fails to get that then an auto rerun happens 1 week later between candidates placed 1 and 2.
racedo is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:49
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: South Africa
Age: 83
Posts: 1,326
Yes.

In 1967, we bought a new build house in a village in Herfordshire. Then a 'safe' Tory seat.

Our MP came and cold called, even though it wasn't election year.
ian16th is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:56
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: se england
Posts: 1,253
My local MP is a senior minister but not one of the big 4 jobs
He has what i believe is the second or third safest blue seat in UK , the area once being home to the last ever one party local council.
We dont see much of him at election times since he has no need to do the leg work- it being the original people would vote for a broom if it had a blue rosette
Personally I dont think much of his stance on many things but he isnt a bad constituency MP when it comes to getting involved in and supporting purely local issues..
I do not know what happens if you have the PM as MP since its unlikely they have any time at all for constituency affairs or the current Foreign secretary where you not only have some one who is away all the time but is a complete liability.
pax britanica is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 15:57
  #17 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: England
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
My guess is that he just didn't want to tackle big business - perhaps if we'd done this exercise after the Grenfell Tower fire, now that we all know the shortcuts and failings in the building inspection system, he might have been a bit more proactive.
I had similar experiences. If it was a technical/construction sector issue it didn't get far but did get sympathetic responses and the issue passed to someone else to bury. If it was a legal issue with political point scoring involved, he was all over it and got others with more clout involved. You just have to pick your battles when getting help from an MP.
Grayfly is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 16:15
  #18 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,744
At least with Jeremy you might even get your letter read out in the house - and die from embarrassment.
Pontius Navigator is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 16:19
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 12,621
Originally Posted by Gertrude the Wombat View Post
(2) Never vote. If you don't vote why would anyone waste their time talking to you?
Out of interest, how does your MP know whether you have ever voted or not ?
DaveReidUK is online now  
Old 8th Jul 2018, 16:26
  #20 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: England
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
At least with Jeremy you might even get your letter read out in the house - and die from embarrassment.
I'm sure he will be getting letters from people looking for a room in London when he gets in to Number 10.
Grayfly is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.